I’ve been busy so the reports have suffered.
Last week, I fished with Doug Kilpatrick for two days. On the second, we were joined by Dave Dalu.
Doug and I woke up in the teeth of a cold front that had parked on the lower Keys, and while the fishing was likely going to be difficult we elected to give it a shot anyway. I brought some 6# tippet and the gear for an attempt at the 6 lb tippet blacktip shark record, that stands currently at 29 pounds, 8 ounces, held by Tom Pierce. We had to find the right area in the wind, though when we finally were able to stake off and begin chumming the sharks showed up in short order. While we were hoping for blacktips, lemons instead showed up and we made a quick change to 20# class and a heavier rod to simply catch one. The sharks weren’t very willing, but after a few hours and many shots at the four or five fish that skated through our chum we hooked and landed a nice fish that we estimated at about 90 pounds.
After the lemon capture we moved into some new water, blacktips on the mind. In a few hours of fishing we saw one fish on a few different occasions that never showed enough interest to warrant a fly bite. When the tide died so did our interest, and with nearly four more hours to kill we decided to brave the elements and look for tarpon. Look we did, and the fact that we found none was not for lack of trying. Doug put forth an impressive effort on the platform, and while I was unable to contribute much I stayed as ready as I could for the duration of our extended session. We left as the sunlight disappeared behind some clouds.
We were joined by Dave Dalu, who is fresh off of a rest period from a recent back issue. When we first put these days on the calendar, I (as well as Dave) had high hopes of tarpon fishing. Since we had beaten that particular dead horse the day before, we decided it would be better to look for permit. As it turns out, this wasn’t a great idea. We looked for nine hours, finding a grand total of two permit. Again, Doug impressed with his effort and our lack of fish were surely not from lack of trying. That said, it was a pleasure as always to spend a day on the water with Doug and Dave Dalu, though it would have been nice to see Dave flex some of his skills.
Yesterday, I fished with Simon Becker. We were joined by Kathryn Vallilee. We had initially planned on fishing two days, Simon and I, but the weather kept us home for the first day.
Our fishing was slow, and after three permit shots and lots of looking early we staked off near a channel and caught a few jacks and snapper to finish the day. We had a great time casting a nice fly pole and chatting, but as we were about to leave the weather cleared and Simon took 10 minutes to run near where we fished earlier for a long-shot at a permit. As it turned out, this wasn’t long shot at all: in 15 minutes we saw a large permit cruising the flat, I threw the fly, and caught a handsome 25 pound permit to finish off a great afternoon.
Here’s what it looked like:
I would of course like to thank Simon Becker for showing us a truly awesome time on the water, and I look forward to fishing with him more. With a year to prepare for next year’s Merkin, all I can say is that we’re working on it already.
In other news, Aaron Snell sent me a few photos I thought I’d share here:
Vicky Linville arrives tonight, and tomorrow and the next we are fishign with John O’Hearn. More to come,